Puerto Natales is the capital and port of the province of Ultima Esperanza, on the banks of the Señoret Canal, in the Magallanes Region. It is a small city although tourism adapts to the little unrest of this town of colorful houses and serene streets. It is located 247 km north of Punta Arenas, its most populous neighbor. The nearest Argentine city is Río Turbio, 30 km away by the Dorotea border crossing.
Between the Last Hope bosom and the Admiral Montt gulf, the excellent quality of its pastures gave it the impetus to develop sheep and cattle farming in the first half of the 20th century. This is how refrigerators and wool exports emerged as predominant activities in an area of cattle ranches. The Agrarian Reform imposed restrictions and today tourism is the main source of income, given that Puerto Natales is the gateway to the Torres del Paine natural park.
Their original towns are the Kawesqar, marine nomads that populated the Magellanic territories. In the future of history, Chile discovered that the southern region was appropriate for Lanar cattle raising and thus began the colonization of the Magellanic territory. Puerto Natales was founded in 1911. In the Municipal Historical Museum you can learn all about the past of this corner of Chilean Patagonia.
The geography of Puerto Natales highlights its fjords, archipelagos, valleys and white fields that enhance the experience of visiting this destination. In the port we can get an idea of the energy of this border area, where the landscape is introduced through all the cracks. The weather is cold temperate, with no dry season. The rains are constant throughout the year, more intense during the fall.
A walk along the waterfront to the historic Gaffos pier is ideal for taking pictures at sunset and enjoying the sighting of the cormorants. The surroundings of the town center are dominated by cattle ranches and small plots of agricultural producers. On the closest route we come across the Plaza de Armas, the Casino, the Municipal Museum and the Mary Help of Christians Parish.
The remains of the old Boris refrigerator, 5 km from the city, are protected by The Singular Patagonia, the luxury hotel in Puerto Natales. Inside its facilities are stored machinery of the time. It was named a Historic Monument in 1996.
The strategic location of Puerto Natales predisposes to other walks in an environment like no other. Milodon Cave is an archeological site 25 km from the city. If the idea is to start a more active hike, the Dorotea mountain range path is of low difficulty and you can see a view of the entire city and the Cape Last Hope. Laguna Sofía is the ideal amphitheater for cycling, sport fishing, horseback riding or climbing. Through the cold waters of the Pacific, with views of the Paine, you can reach Puerto Prat, the first settlement in the province, by kayak.
Another option is to navigate the glaciers, the route of the explorers looking for the Strait of Magellan and found the Magellan fjords. The full day excursion to the glaciers